When I was compiling the articles on our readers’ favorite hobbies, I discovered that one of our readers has a highly unusual hobby that also makes a terrific travel game that the entire family can enjoy!
I was so intrigued by Janis Blevins and her art, I wanted to do a separate piece about it because:
- Janis creates beautiful photographic art that’s inspiring to look at
- Finding the subjects for that art is a fun travel game for children and adults alike that can be played virtually anywhere in the world
Janis is a calligrapher. Consequently, it’s not surprising that letters would intrigue her, which is how she first came up with her unusual hobby.
What Janis calls “letters in landscapes” have recently become her passion.
That’s right. Janis says if you look for them, you can find naturally occurring letters of the alphabet all around you in nature.
She explains, “I have found that my eye slows down when it is searching for a hidden letter in the beautiful scene before me and I see so many more wondrous details as a result.“
On her longer trips, Janis says she will find the entire alphabet!
She captures photos of the natural alphabetic treasures she finds and arranges them into books to share with friends and family. She just finished book #31!
In addition to the books, Janis Blevins’ photographic art has also been featured in a few exhibitions.
Her one and only rule for this travel game is that the letters are truly “found.” She never rearranges anything for the sake of a photo.
Anyone can play along with the “letters in landscapes” road game. For kids, it can be a fun, as well as educational, ongoing treasure hunt that keeps them occupied and engaged.
Janis’ love of calligraphy might give her an advantage, but not necessarily so.
She says, “My husband is proof that anyone can spot some unique found letters. Several times I had failed to see an obvious letter until he pointed it out to me.”
The best part is, according to Janis, the hunt can truly transform the entire overall experience. For instance, she related her letter-hunting adventures during a recent beach trip.
“Our trip to the beach usually involved a lot of time hunting for perfect shells. However, once I began my search for found letters, those letters began popping before me in many forms. Consequently, rather than looking only for the perfect shell, I began observing ALL the wonders of the beach.”
She continues, “A broken shell or a group of ordinary shells, rocks, seaweed, or design in the sand were now given attention because they could represent a letter form. Shelling was now elevated to the highest level of observing ALL shells and creations on the beach. The waves provided that wonderful sound, and each new wave brought a ‘new arrangement’ that had the possibility of a letter form.”
Why not try it out for yourself on your next trip and see how many letters you can find?
Thank you, Cheri!
That is so cool, nifty, neat.
We too love doing this! As a photographer my self, I have collected quite an “alphabet” in our travels and have used them to create (mostly) framed “Name” wedding gifts for friends. Once you start looking for letters, you can’t stop – they are everywhere! 😉
I would love to see more of her photos. It sounds like a fun game for kids to play. Kind of like a scavenger hunt.